The doctor Dr. Natalie Azar revealed to the American magazine ‘Today’ which movement you can use to find out how fit you really are in just five seconds.
Not only blood pressure and cardiovascular fitness provide information about fitness, but also mobility and strength – and this is exactly what is checked in the five-second test.
How to do the sit-stand test
“It’s actually a stand-sit-stand test,” explains Azar. Basically, you start the test standing, sit cross-legged on the floor, and then stand up again.
You should stand, sit, and stand again without using your hands or any other part of your body to get up and down. Only the use of legs and the middle of the body is permitted.
Anyone who has tried this knows that this task sounds easier than it actually is.
The scoring reveals how fit you are
Points are awarded based on how well you can perform this exercise. Those who can get up again without problems receive ten points. A point will be deducted for any assistance provided by hands, knees, forearms or the sides of the legs. If you can’t get up at all, you get zero points.
The test is based on this study
This simple test is an effective indicator of health because you need to have strong cardiovascular health, good balance, mobility, flexibility, and core and leg strength to complete it, Azar says.
A 2012 study found that the test was a significant predictor of mortality among participants between the ages of 51 and 80. The study found that participants with a low score were up to seven times more likely to die over the next six years.
What you also have to say is that the people who had the lowest scores in the study were actually the oldest – for that reason alone the mortality risk was of course higher.
However, that doesn’t mean the test isn’t legitimate or that it can’t predict health, even if you’re under 51.
“As we get older, we often talk about cardiovascular health and aerobic fitness, but balance, flexibility and mobility are really important, too,” Azar points out.
Can the test really say anything about your health?
If you have eight points or more, you have successfully passed the test. If you have fewer points, you have to work on mobility and strength. But the test also has some weaknesses: many factors are not taken into account at all, such as injuries.
Anyone who has mobility problems for other reasons may never get 10 points. But that doesn’t mean you’re not healthy and fit, Azar explains. For example, not sleeping well or having back pain can affect the test results.
This article first appeared on FIT FOR FUN.